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I want to give a slightly different perspective on this as a cofounder of a startup. First of all it sounds like there was some really dishonest communication and there is no excuse for that.

As far as salary goes, I absolutely cannot afford to compete and hire at market rate prices so I rely on:

-People who are motivated by other factors than money (everyone at our company took a pay cut to join). We have schedule flexibility, we are like-able, our tech is interesting, our mission and vision are inspiring I hope, we are good at selling ourselves.

-People who like the gamble of stock options

-People who are unaware of their market value

This is how every startup in seed round works pretty much.

That said, I don’t go around complaining that there is a talent shortage. I’m well aware of the situation we are in.




How do you reconcile this statement:

First of all it sounds like there was some really dishonest communication and there is no excuse for that.

With this one:

People who are unaware of their market value


As an employer it is not my job to assess and pay an employee their market value. I’m not a career counselor. I have positions I need to fill and those have salaries associated with them. Someone who is overqualified might accept a role when I think they could do better, but that’s me projecting a vision onto them. The employee has mobility to reject my offer, or leave and seek a better job.

Also people are complex I don’t necessarily know why the engineer accepted the job for 70% of what I think they could earn elsewhere. It could be an intangible reason.


>As an employer it is not my job to assess and pay an employee their market value

Then how do you do competition market research?

Are you okay with it if it turns out that the offer you make is either 3x or 1/3 The market rate?

>The employee has mobility to reject my offer, or leave and seek a better job.

As long as you never whine about a 'talent shortage' when they reject the offer or leave, that's fine.

You made the offer, they decline or leave because they can get better elsewhere.

You look at that information and decide if you want to raise wages or not. Then put out whatever adverts you wish.

Simple and easy. No need for press,PR,H1B, lobbyists and the like.

If everyone was running like that, these kind of articles wouldn't exist.


An employee’s market value has nothing to do with the job openings I have available. You’re equating the two. When I do salary research I do it based on similar roles that are open. Let me give you a concrete example: A CS Phd applies to be our front desk receptionist. I’m offering them the value of the position they applied for, which has nothing to do with the fact that they could be making $300K+ doing CS research.


I think there's a big difference between floating a number like "2X" to entice someone into an interview, then presenting an offer for "X"... versus just floating "X" in the first place, and maybe someone is too timid or unaware to ask for more.

Honestly, we're not SKU's. Once you get some experience, the main difference between, say, a $100k developer and a $150k developer is that the latter simply decides that's their price and interviews longer until they find it.


I've seen very-underpaid people go through the realization that they've been taken advantage of.

Sometimes it's worked out; the company gives them a big raise, a lump sum in the key of "Sorry!" and the person remains a happy and productive -- and wiser -- member of the team.

Usually they're gone within months, though. And often other people follow ("You got /how/ much at OtherCorp?").


There's nothing dishonest about making someone an offer lower than what you think they could get elsewhere and then accepting it.


There is if the candidate makes their salary a very clear upfront condition of employment and the employer pushes them through a lengthy interview without disclosing zero chance of them being paid that much because the company does not have the money. They are leading a candidate on in bad faith.


I have noticed two things,

1) every company I have interviewed with has lied to me at some point in the process. Sometimes those are small lies, sometimes they are very big ones. I get that hiring is a complex process but a company's recruiters and hiring managers should make an effort to not over-promise and under-deliver to people that want to work there.

2) I have never received an offer from a company that asked me my salary expectations. I consider that question a loud signal that I am just being regarded as a data point by the recruiter, and I basically write them off.


>> Sometimes those are small lies, sometimes they are very big ones.

Been there. But lies cut both ways. Once a company is dishonest with you, it is 100% fair game for you to be dishonest with them:

- Side consulting gigs

- During work consulting gigs, especially if you have "unlimited vacation"

- Sneaking off during the day to do whatever

That said, that isn't healthy for either party. The best situation is where both sides are honest and both sides work their hardest to reach a shared goal.


> 2) salary expectation

Oh lol. I just applied for a job that asked for salary expectation. Well I guess its ok. I spent minimal amount of time uploading my resume and entering data into 4 webpage.


> I absolutely cannot afford to compete and hire at market rate prices

maybe you need some funding then


Article author suggest he could just do the thing himself instead of working for company... Thus, he should seek more equity :)

Well, maybe..


>I absolutely cannot afford to compete and hire at market rate prices

You could if you were willing to take rawer unproven talent.

You chose another option and that worked for you and that's great. You could have perhaps hired a student at market rate.




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